Friday, July 30, 2010

simon sinek

people don't buy what you do they buy why you do it

thanks to @gcouros 's talk below

the goal is not to do business with the people that want what you have, but with the people that believe what you believe.

when you ask why - and answer - it doesn't feel right.... it's because the part of the brain that controls decisions is also the part of the brain that doesn't control language.
so if you don't know why you do what you do - no one else will know..

circle    why) how) what)
if you hire people for money - that's what they'll work for

diffusion innovation

King gave the i have a dream speech, not the i have a plan speech.


rs10 george couros

identity day...

first their school's philosophy

george is a covey leader

everything is based on best interest of students

showed pink's video - 2 questions:

Two questions that can change your life from Daniel Pink on Vimeo.

1) what's my sentence
2) ppp
George's sentence is: i want to help others find their sentence

i love SimonSinek

 problem child - spend 2 min a day talking to them about something other than school.

find the prize in every box


rs10 steve hargadon

start with need for change =- gatto

bigger change than ever on the way

how we find, create, consume
web 1.0: recipients
web 2.0: contributers

information overload vs conversation

answer to invo overload is to create more content...
need to see it as conversation.

disrupting class

enormous shift to openness

we want to share content, (mit, flexbook

how we get things done
a return to participation

new story - unleashing human potential

organizing without organizations

the long tail - all kinds of things to be pursued.

how we connect
we are still in 1.0

1. be a learner first
2. keep perspective
3. join a social or ed network
4. become a part of the conversation and encourage others
5. help build a playbook for public convo
6. embrace change


human trafficking

another post by Mark Harvoth of hardly normal.
he's keeping us noticing things that matter.
now to connect and do.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

sam chaltain

  Sam Chaltain is a DC-based educator and organizational change consultant. He works with schools, school districts, and public and private sector companies to help them create healthy, high-functioning learning environments. Previously, Sam was the National Director of the Forum for Education & Democracy, an education advocacy organization, and the founding director of the Five Freedoms Project, a national program that helps K-12 educators create more democratic learning communities.

Sam spent five years at the First Amendment Center as the co-director of the First Amendment Schools program. He came to the Center from the public school system of New York City, where he taught high school English and History. Sam also spent four years teaching the same subjects at a private school in Brooklyn.

Sam’s first teaching experience was in Beijing, China, where he joined the faculty of the Foreign Languages department at Beijing Normal University as a visiting lecturer. He taught two American History & Literature courses to third-year undergraduates.

Sam’s writings about his work have appeared in both magazines and newspapers, including the Washington Post, Education Week and USA Today. A periodic contributor to CNN and MSNBC, Sam is also the author or co-author of four books: The First Amendment in Schools (ASCD, 2003), First Freedoms: A Documentary History of First Amendment Rights (Oxford University Press, 2006), American Schools: The Art of Creating a Democratic Learning Community(Rowman & Littlefield, 2009), and We Must Not Be Afraid to be Free: Stories Of Free Expression in America (Oxford, 2010).

Sam has a Master’s degree in American Studies from the College of William & Mary, and an M.B.A. from George Washington University, where he specialized in non-profit management and organizational theory. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he graduated with a double major in Afro-American Studies and History.

notes from live interview (future of ed via @stevehargadon):
his book

he wants to write stories of people that are doing the work.

quotes read by steve:
democracy in schools, it means teachers stop being authoritarian and more authoritative, etc...
I think people need to create democratic learning communities, and that's really hard to do well.

richardcclose: We are looking at a grant to build community based democractic learning in Nigeria's Delta with war zone youth

we must not be afraid to be free
it's hard to create an environment that is trusting and regulated enough
sam says we err on the side of too much freedom - with not that much learning taking place

richardcclose: We are working with a women's homeless shelter.. They will be writing thier own curriculum

check out his post - to what do i owe my fidelity
ichardcclose: Learning on the open web is Democratic learning because it is globally collaborative. Voting is done on You Tube - twitter

charles haines was his leader..
ongoing journey to try to better understand how we do that well -

kirsten olson: I work very intimately with a democratic school.  it's beautiful but messy, students are not acculturated to it coming from a conventional public school environment
distinction between a democracy and republic
term that means most to sam - democracy with a lower case d
create an environment where everybody does better because everybody does better

democracy and capitalism seem to be incompatible... yet we need to keep working on bringing them together
had to leave half way through.

previous post on sam


design matters

how cool is this...
check out the bike generating electricity:


what about grades

what about grades

We hope this clears up some assumptions about grades….
Above is James Bach begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting‘s highschool transcript. (Read more in his book Buccaneer-Scholar.)
Here’s how his book reads on the pages describing his grades (This is a lot  – James gave me permission to pirate this .):
As you can see, I dropped out of high school. My transcript may look a bit strange. I liked math. My mother talked the school into letting me take geometry and trigonometry in ninth grade. I didn’t receive grades for these classes, thought, because instead of taking the final exams, I went to the University of Vermont to take a summer calculus course.
My ninth-grade math teacher was furious that I missed his exams. I couldn’t take him seriously. The point is learning, right? Not grades. By that time I had contempt for grades. To me, the public school grading system seemed fraudulent and ignorant. I felt this way because I often received good grades I knew I hadn’t earned, while some of my worst grades were for subjects in which I excelled.
See that 94 in nith-grade science? I barely attended that class. Most days, I skipped it and played in the computer lab instead. I went to science class each Friday to take the test, which was a weak mix of vocabulary words and multiple-choice questions about basic facts of nature. Even thought I turned in no homework, passing such tests was apparently enough to get a good grade.
See that 49 in tenth-grade physics? Looks like a low score, doesn’t it? But I loved physics. I studied it at home. I made drawings of spaceships and calculated how fast they could go and how long it would take them to reach Alpha Centauri. I taught myself to use a sliderule and calculated trajectories of rockets that put space stations into orbit, the centrifugal forces on those space stations and the energy of meteoroids that might strike them in orbit.
But none of that was part of my schoolwork. So it didn’t count. Instead, physics in my school was a process designed to minimize the probability that any student would fail physics class. This was accomplished by emptying physics of much of its content. The subject was changed from an exploration of the patterns of the universe into a ritual of simple observations and simple calculations.
The problem was the labs. We were supposed to do them each week. A “lab” was a set of instructions in a book and blanks to fill in. These were turned in to the teacher, so that he could check that the blanks were filled with the expected numbers. Example: “The ball rolled 1 meter in ___ seconds when released on the 10 degree plane.”
These labs were represented to us as “experiments,” but there was no inquiry in them. They were just rituals for getting a grade. In practice, a few students performed the ritual to obtain the magic numbers; the rest copied the numbers into their own workbooks.
For me, the labs turned physics into a sham. I was told I would not pass the class unless I turned in my completed workbook. Instead, I turned in nothing. My workbook remained empty the whole year, I failed physics, but to this day I feel good that I took a stand for ethics in education.
At the end of tenth grade, a year after I skipped the math exams, my geometry and trigonometry teacher suddenly reappeared. The man was still angry with me for missing his pointless tests. He forced me to go into a room where the same exams were being held and said I had to take them. I didn’t care about the grade, but math is fun, so I went along. That’s why my Math 10 and Math 11 scores show up in tenth grade instead of ninth.
So you see. There are a lot of numbers on my high school transcript. The numbers look plain and clear, but the story behind them is nothing of the kind. Schools can’t track or describe students like me in meaningful terms. High numbers don’t represent good learning; low numbers don’t represent bad. The result is a nonsensical record from which little of value can be inferred.
We can’t know from looking at any report card or transcript how well or poorly a student is doing at school. These records don’t even tell us how well a student “plays the game” of school because a teacher may decide to pass an otherwise failing student for the sake of mercy, decorum, or administrative pressure. The system is a mess.
I have no “General Equivalency Diploma.” I have no other college credit. I have no certifications other than a driver’s license, a student’s pilot’s license, and open water driver rating, and a Level I paraglider pilot license.
If you measure people by paper credentials, you would be comfortable ignoring me. By that measure, I’m the Invisible Man.

.for more on grades – check out @joe_bower ‘s insight ..
and how we think we should be helping people determine authentic value.
another post on Buccaneer-Scholar


Monday, July 26, 2010

james bach - buccaneer

i just got james's book in the mail. i ordered it after hearing him live in @stevehargadon 's future of ed series in elluminate. - my notes from that here.
1st two pages are worth the whole book.. (and i'm sure it will get even better.)

 a peek into his thinking - just 3 of the gems:
1.  Education is important. School is not. I didn't need school. Neither do you.
2. School can help your education. Maybe you like school. If it's fun, stay with it.
3. School is temporary. Education is not.
If you want to prosper in life: find something that fascinates you and jump all over it. Don't wait for someone to teach you; your enthusiasm will attract teachers to you. Don't worry about diplomas or degrees; just get so good that no one can ignore you.

whoa.. right?..
dang - i need that speed reading course..

anya kamenetz at #wec10

 master plan is dead with current round of budget crisis
college ed has become trapped in an unsustainable cost spiral

 there's a relevance question in higher ed... after many generations saying that college ed is key to success and prosperity

but now - economy is changing so quickly that the degree that they get now might now might not be the same when i finish
i'm not able to choose to study what i think is going to be relevant for me

diyu isn't a road map but a compass
these transformations don't just come from the tools, but from an attitufe.. summed up in one word

content - open license that anyone can access content   (mit) - only the first step, an infrastructure so that then you can build... on...socialization
socialization - enable to teach online with huge benefits like in classroom - like video chats, twitterfeeds, (tutor) - taking open content and organizing courses around it
accreditation - who gets opportunity and who gets credit, how do you prove that someone has taught themselves online
provide an assessment based model - based on passing assessments - created from scratch, rather than saying i got a degree - because of requirements, actual tests/content
behans? - upload profiles, community rating system, employers go on site and select, get a job based on the work you demonstrate
this is what i've done... vs diploma

most decisions are made by faculty, legislators, parents, but very little are made by students

the real change that has to happen is to change the way we look at the ed process. only 1 in 10 7 out of 10 grad hs, then only about half grad college. 

how is it the same?
same ideals of early schools, scholars pursuing knowledge for the love of knowledge, total free inquiry in a way that had never been done before

latin - universitas = communities


seth godin

We're human, that's what we do--we erect boundaries, constraints we can't ease, and we get trapped.

There's no way to solve the perfect problem because every solution involves breaking an unbreakable constraint.
And there's your solution.



interesting conversations on plns,,,
is it because we haven't defined them enough
or will defining them too much take out the personal?
tweet steam about 11, july 25, twilliamson15, nashworld, kellyhines, jonbecker, courosa,
via todd's 

via amichetti's
via kyleplace's on a club
via amichetti's 

via kylepace


todd: the great pln backlash of 2010
buffyjhamilton   - i love this... no boundaries, always morphing

teach42: 2009 - is joining a pln bad for morale




is autistic

don't give up, your inner voice will find its way out...

autism every day


Sunday, July 25, 2010

william kamkwamba

real people stories...
William Kamkwamba, from Malawi, is a born inventor. When he was 14, he built an electricity-producing windmill from spare parts and scrap, working from rough plans he found in a library book called Using Energy and modifying them to fit his needs. The windmill he built powers four lights and two radios in his family home.

thank you @beckyblanton
and can't wait for more @mrsenorhill and @johntspencer


Saturday, July 24, 2010

rscon10 - pre search

This is my draft for what I plan to share on aug 1 at the reform symposium - as an intro to this.
We would absolutely love feedback, if you are so inclined.

Like in the (blended) classroom we feel you should get a pre-search

I just attended an elluminate session where Jo Hart was so gracefully discussing the value of face to face conferences.

We can learn a lot if we see them as a certain size copy of the fractal of learning how to learn.
The need for personalization of learning shows up most during a lecture type time. It's unlikely we all can remain engaged on one topic in a given time period (meaning all of us in ed or at a conference.) Not so unlikely for a specified community or tribe though, that has authentic connections.

In blended classes you get these opportunities:
  • a pre-search of the topic- 
  • a face to face meeting - one in which you are already entrenched in the topic and/or the people attending
  • a re-search of the notes after (discussion/activity) 
  • a re-play  ability to rehash any of the above, by hitting replay, by ongoing tweet/blog/junto conversations, etc
We hope during the time together, a most important time - you aren't left with a de-search.
 These other elements are so vital to upping the value of the times we spend together.
We hope you aren't left with only the 2 feet rule or the back channel escape.

One beauty of fractal-thinking is seeing ourselves in what we wish for our students.

Many want the two feet rule.. ok - do we allow that for our students? Is there a better way... what if we got better at pre-search going? What if we only met together face to face if there was a reason - for each of us... not just the presenter at a conference or the teacher in a room....What if the main value of being together in a room was the people...that we chose to be with...
  1. I read 5 of your books, I know I’ll be on the edge of my seat.
  2. I read your pre-search notes and can’t wait for you to untangle some of them.
  3. I read your pre-search notes and other's comments on them - I can’t wait to get together in a room with all of you and hash that out.
  4. I read your pre-search notes - and I won’t need the 2 feet rule - and I won't use the backchannel as a bash tool -  because I’m picking this learning space, I’m prepped for that time together. 
And if for some reason - it’s not what I expected, because that could still happen, it’s fine. No worries, I know of Carol Dweck’s growth Mindset and I also can’t wait to dig gems out of what I initially may view as disconnect.

We should model that - we should look more like pieces of the fractal.

The Coop is planning  a meet up - after just one Junto session. We’re craving time together. We have so many connections already. That's how time together should be. 
Are we’re facilitating those times for our students to connect? Are we focusing on community - or are we assigning work that seems meaningful to us, and then expecting them to jump hoops to be dying to come into our classroom? Are we nudging, urging, providing for connections in the ubiquity of life that makes them crave our times together?

This is ridiculous, and impossible. 
Well it was. 
That’s the new. 
The web is allowing us to getpivot wisdom out of the connected fractals of life  - helping us to see value in all that we do.. and spend our time on things that matter. 
We’re headed for an authentic nclb.


Friday, July 23, 2010

implementing innovative ideas

What’s the difference between individual and organizational innovation? We have plenty of people who come up with good ideas, but nothing new ever seems to get done in our company.

this super article addresses these questions..

Holly G Green is the CEO of THE HUMAN FACTOR, Inc. ( and is a highly sought after and acclaimed speaker, business consultant, and author. Her unique approach to creating strategic agility, helping others go slow to go fast, will change your thinking. 


fighting status quo

read seth here and don't miss the link to jarvis here.

i think just like the statements made about the journalism and change.. the same holds true for ed and change.

“[T]he current challenges faced by the news industry are business problems, not legal problems,” Google says,”and can only be addressed effectively with business solutions. Regulatory proposals that undermine the functioning of healthy marketplaces and stall the pace of change are not the solution.”

“The internet, rather than being the cause of journalism‘s downfall, provides a unique opportunity for news organizations to renew and reinvigorate journalism,” Google says. 

“Unfortunately, the Discussion Draft does not acknowledge the basic economics of search engines and similar services and instead erroneously suggests that search engines are somehow cannibalizing newspaper advertising revenue rather than serving as an important connection to potential consumers.” A

how publishers should be treating the readers who come to them via links.  

Google’s fine with pay walls if publishers want them. It’s just not fine with government regulating them. “Innovating to create products and services that consumers want to pay for,” Google says, “is the only way to guarantee long-term subscription revenue growth, and none of the policy proposals are designed to foster that kind of innovation.” A zinger for the FTC (one I wish Google had dwelled on more since it does know innovation.)

Google continues to work with publishers to find ways to ensure that journalism survives and thrives on the Web. We remain optimistic about the future of journalism: The Fourth Estate is too crucial a part of a functioning democracy, and the Internet too powerful a medium, for journalism to die in transition to a Web-first approach. News organizations have more readers than ever, more sources of information than ever, more ways to report and tell stories than ever, and more potential ways to generate revenue than ever. Journalism will change, but the free market and free society will ensure that it won‘t die.

Another zinger to the industry and the FTC comes as Google points out that classified revenue implosion had “nothing to do with copying or free-riding and everything to do with the emergence of a new, more effective and more efficient product into the marketplace. The FTC would ordinarily regard such a situation as a cause for celebration – consumers are getting a better product at a lower price – not an opportunity to slow down that innovation through regulation.” 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

centripetal force

coolest convo ever.. just happened upon it online.

about centripetal force...
but more about working together.
and how knowing stuff helps communication.

merry-go-round - ism


library as the hub of the school

video find via @rmbyrne via @LibraryLadyJ 


adrianna svitak

14 year old Adrianna Svitak is an award-winning pianist and violinist hailing from Redmond, WA. Her teaching career started when she was nine years old (piano). Subsequently she offers violin lessons for beginning students. At 13, Adrianna co-authored Dancing Fingers with her sister Adora.
As a pianist, she played at events including the Seattle Young Artists’ Festival, the CWU Sonatina Festival, the Performing Arts Festival of the Eastside, the Music Teachers’ National Association (MTNA), the Northwest Chopin Festival, and the October Bach Festival.
Among other awards, she won first place at the City of Covington Piano Competition and was named Concertmistress for the Redmond Junior High Honors Orchestra at the Junior All-State Violin Competition. Adrianna currently serves as Concertmistress for the Redmond Junior High Honors Orchestra.

her music (intro'd by her sister adora):

i got the opportunity to dine with these two lovelies at iste.
incredible girls...
More on Adora :
Adora and Adrianna's websites:
Adora's Teaching Programs: 


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

matthew o'brien

and mark horvah... helping us

"if you look hard enough, even in the greatest of darkness, you can find light” ~ written on tunnel wall under vegas


ethan zuckerman

TedGlobal 2010, July: listening to global voices

imaginary cosmopolitanism
Sure, the web connects the globe, but most of us end up hearing mainly from people just like ourselves. Blogger and technologist Ethan Zuckerman wants to help share the stories of the whole wide world. He talks about clever strategies to open up your Twitter world and read the news in languages you don't even know.

interesting problems of the world are global in scale and scope, they require global conversations to get to global solutions.
yahon - 150000 volunteers, translate 100 articles a day and put on line for free,
jon ley - if there's one thing i can do is start translating so these people can communicate better.
400 mill internet users in china - more than anywhere
so where are the american translaters?

middle east editor for global voices
 - she has to try to get you out of your normal orbit.. she's a dj, skilled human curator, make a selection and push people forward.
internet makes it easier for dj's. people to tell you what to read, etc.

afrigadget blog - pretty much his fav blog
bridge figure - white african - he's knows two worlds
bridge figures are

we have to figure out a way to rewire the systems we have
ways of creating serendipity
celebrate bridge figures
cultivate zenofiles


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

james bach

comments from his live talk on futures of ed:

i can feel excited about anything as long as i’m serving someone who needs me..
we need to feel needed or else energy goes out of it

purpose over relevance alan november via @wendydrexler

over come your fear of not being smart enough

the idea that people don’t have motivation to do things to live their lives is a silly theory
if it weren’t for laws - everyone would be running around raping and killing each other

son dropped out of school at 12 and is 16 now.
has written 114 stories - but appears to be doing nothing
james wants him to won his own life

set up resource centers.. public libraries
all ed is free
all money for public ed pays for all ages to have universal access to learning centers

influenced by ivan illich
everybody has motivations...
maybe some will live quiet lives.. and that’s ok
letter 155 of van goh - read it

how does my son learn writing skills
he doesn’t like to be taught, he prefers indirect
he wrote 20,000 words and then stopped
he has receptive moments when he has had success.. then he’s willing to listen, he has to experiment with himself for a while, then receptive
he writes a lot but doesn’t like reading

the rethinking everything conference
radical unschooling - treat children as adults

success and failure only have meaning when they relate to a game

relax - you’re going to be fine, there’s nothing you can do to screw up your life at this point.
unless you become and addict, etc, in the ed realm - there’s nothing that is not solvable

in touch with own inner source of genius

life is social - so idea that kids won’t get socialization without school
people are as social as they want to be
“my son likes staying at home”
socialization takes care of itself.. don’t believe in forced socialization

he’s very successful and no one has ever asked him if he had a highschool diploma
all that matters is merit

dr - join community of dr’s
it’s really about community, so you find your community and go along with their rules...
if you are in it - that will give you the motivation to do it

not against school - against schoolism
school is fine for some people, but it’s not ok that i was told in gradeschool that i wouldn’t amount to anything
i find that math is easier to learn from a human - so i sought out teachers

school is driven more by political than educational channels
James Bedrin - his fav teacher - 6th grade
based on the theory that minds want to learn, minds want to grow

education is the mind i have constructed and the process of constructing it
and leave the rest to google


Monday, July 19, 2010

kohls - grazie

just submitted this to the kohl's $500000 gift to schools for tvhs
very cool of them by the way.
i heard of the contest from @ktenkley - so please use your vote on her first - if you're so inclined. 20 schools get the 500 thousand. 

Students have worked over that last year to help craft a 4 year plan of disruption to redefine school. A disruption in the sense that it is low cost & low impact, gradually growing over the years as users tweak and improve it. One piece we're working on is digital equity in regard to connectivity. In the mean time, having more districts in year 1 of the plan to validate the process is what we're after. Getting just 10 ipod touches into 250 to 300 districts would work the disruption. Or if we figure out a way to refurbish recycled cells - we could include even more districts. Here's a look at the plan:
Thank you Kohl's for your gift to ed. Best wishes to the incredible ideas submitted.


be you.

two posts this am already

may be that i need a break from be you.
but they seem to re-emphasize what we're going for there.


via ASTD via By Jeanne Meister and Karie Willyerd tweet via @willrich45
The last decade has brought a multitude of  
changes in technology 
and in the learning function
What will the next 10 years have to offer?

also via @wendydrexler - semantic vs social